Satire: In defense of students who record lectures with phones

recorder phone web

Students shouldn’t be chastised just for having their phones out. | Justin Cross/The Cougar

Students of perfectly sound state of body and mind who record lectures with their phones are being treated unfairly by professors. These students with their phones, or “phonies,” deserve a certain amount of respect that other students should not receive.

Just because they do not have any physical obstacle to writing notes down does not mean they should not be able to record a lecture. Asking a professor on the first day of class if the student is permitted to record a lecture takes courage.

This leads to the first misconception of phonies: They do not pay attention to anything during lecture.

Professors assume that the phony student can sit back and relax while his or her phone does the learning. That is simply not true. There are several obstacles to achieving true relaxation during lecture, and phony students are more aware of this than students who write down their notes with pens or pencils like barbarians. These obstacles include the recording session itself.

“I’m almost always focused on messages or the internet on my phone while I try to record a lecture,” said political science freshman Saul Hardington. “People assume I can just relax while everyone else does their work, but that is simply not true. This is discriminatory.”

The second misconception of phonies is also the most popular one: They will not participate during lecture. Why is it that phony students have to constantly reassure professors that they will participate during lectures while they record them?

“I always have to tell a professor that they don’t have to worry about me not participating, and I have no idea why they won’t believe me,” said marine biology freshman Albert Herring. “It gets even worse after I ask them if attendance is mandatory for every lecture. They just don’t take me seriously after these simple and reasonable questions.”

The third misconception of phonies is the most stinging: students who record lectures do not appreciate other students. Whenever a student asks if they can record a lecture they are always questioned on why they think it would be fair in comparison to the other students writing their notes down on paper.

“Why is it that I have to feel obligated to consider other students’ needs in the classroom?”  said physical therapy freshman Harold Armstrong. “They don’t understand that it’s hard for me to keep up with the teacher talking.”

Theses students work just as hard as any other student. They have to listen to these lectures later on while they are supposed to work on another class’ work. These students deserve just as much attention as their phones do in class.

Opinion columnist Samuel Pichowsky is a political science sophomore and may be reached at [email protected]

1 Comment

  • From my discussions with professors, those that don’t allow it usually cite they are concerned for their intellectual property and don’t what their lectures posted or sold. They don’t have time to search to make sure their lectures are not being treated as such and then have to go through the hassles of exercising their copyrights to stop the distribution of their intellectual property.

    Those professors I spoke to that do allow it still maintain their intellectual property and will have a statement of such in their syllabus. In the end, it is the professor’s property and their right to decide if you can record it or not.

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